Service NSW expands contact tracing technology to taxi industry

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday October 30, 2020


The New South Wales government has rolled out its check-in technology across the taxi industry to improve COVID-19 contract tracing in the state, while the Western Australian government has opened its first ServiceWA centre.

Customer service minister Victor Dominello on Friday said the Service NSW app’s QR code feature is being utilised by Premier, Legion, GM Cabs and some regional operators, allowing taxi drivers and passengers to register their details.

The agency rolled out its app’s new check-in function in hospitality venues across the state last month.

Dominello said that, just like checking into a café or restaurant, taxi passengers can now scan a taxi’s unique QR code using the camera on their phone.

“I commend the taxi industry for its leadership and putting the safety of drivers and passengers first. It’s so important drivers download the Service NSW QR code and encourage passengers to check-in with the app,” he said.

“During a pandemic we can’t drop the ball. Taxis work at the coal face and have a critical role to play in protecting community safety.

“This is a great example of being COVID smart as well as COVID safe. The check-in through the Service NSW app is powerful technology and any industry that is serious about safety should be using it.”

The check-in service automatically captures the date, time and location of the check-in, and securely stores them for 28 days for the sole purpose of contract tracing in the event of an outbreak.

Roughly 13,500 businesses have downloaded the Service NSW app QR code so far, with more than one million check-ins, Dominello said.

The state government has also announced that 3000 Service NSW staff will receive training on supporting distressed customers as part of a fast-tracked suicide prevention program for staff working in systems outside of mental health.

The training will give Service NSW team members the ability to de-escalate an immediate situation and give referral options for customers who may need more specialised support services.

Read more: Service NSW opens new centres, rolls out contact tracing app feature

WA government launches first ServiceWA centre

Meanwhile, the WA government has launched its first ServiceWA trial centre in the existing Department of Transport building in Bunbury.

Customers can visit the centre for more than 80 transactional services, such as applying for a driver’s licence or paying a fine, with staff available to show customers how they can complete their transactions online in the future.

The agencies involved in the trial include the Transport, Justice, Communities, and Primary Industries and Regional Development departments, as well as the WA Police Force.

Finance minister Ben Wyatt said the centre was a move away from the traditional siloed structures of government and placed customers at the centre of service delivery.

The trial centre will help shape the future direction of service delivery in WA. Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the trial would identify what does and doesn’t work for customers.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for the people of Bunbury to help shape the future of service delivery for the entire state,” he said.

“Not everyone is confident navigating online to conduct their business with government services. This initiative will make sure those people still have the opportunity to access a traditional face to face service. I know this new service will be appreciated by many people Bunbury and the wider region.”

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